New Zealand’s local councils seek to solve the issues on funding growth infrastructure by cooperating with the new national government, according to Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).
LGNZ represents the local councils, and some of them have “serious issues” on funding critical infrastructure, LGNZ President Dave Cull said. Some of these include infrastructure for housing, transportation, drinking water and waste-water systems.
The increased need to develop infrastructure, especially in rapidly growing councils, bodes well for businesses that provide surface finishing services – offered by firms such as Syntech – and construction equipment among others.
Cull believes that the government’s review of costs and revenue sources is necessary since solely depending on real estate taxes and development contributions will not be enough.
At the same time, several councils have already neared their debt limits, which is why searching for alternative funding sources is crucial to finance expensive infrastructure, including for agriculture.
Some likely solutions for funding include visitor levies, user-pays systems and the creation of more special purpose vehicles, which would allow local councils to borrow off their balance sheets.
As the population grows, there is a need for a stable logistics network that allows the efficient distribution of fresh produce to consumers.
The need to develop infrastructure should not exclude vegetation from the overall plan, especially since they converted more land designated for farming into urban areas. Hence, farmers and growers of fresh produce become more distant from consumers.
Transportation infrastructure that supports export operations is another key issue. Some of the transport links to cities and ports have become congested, while road closures due to the November earthquake have led to logistics problems.
An efficient infrastructure network will address the future problems arising from a growing population. The local and national governments in New Zealand should work together to solve these looming concerns.